Jane Kennedy 2016 A Taste of Harmony Campaign Interview

Jane Kennedy 2016 A Taste of Harmony Campaign Interview

Interview with Jane Kennedy

Question: What is the 2016 A Taste of Harmony campaign?

Jane Kennedy: A Taste of Harmony is now in its eighth year and is a free national event celebrating cultural diversity in the workplace and is an initiative from the Scanlon Foundation. This year it will be held from 21-27 March.

The concept of the campaign is simple - workmates bring a dish of food that represents their cultural heritage in to work to share with their colleagues. Whatever dish they choose, the idea is that people who don't usually interact outside of work have an opportunity to get together and talk about their culture and their heritage.

A Taste of Harmony is a fun and free event that encourages people to share stories and learn something new about each other. It breaks down cultural barriers and expands peoples' perceptions of what it means to be an Australian. And sharing a meal is a wonderful way to bring people together.

Question: Why did you choose to participate in A Taste of Harmony?

Jane Kennedy: My workplace at Working Dog Produactions has been involved since the first Taste of Harmony. It's been wonderful seeing our staff proudly bring in dishes from their heritage. I've loved hearing the stories of how the recipes for dishes had been passed down. We've also dined at some really interesting, fabulous restaurants not only near where we work, but also when we've been on location…fabulous Ethiopian, Afghan and Persian restaurants….Greek, even an English pub!

Question: What do you hope to achieve with the campaign?

Jane Kennedy: It would be great to see organisations embrace the A Taste of Harmony concept and do their bit to celebrate cultural diversity in the workplace by holding an event during Harmony Week of 21-27 March.

Question: How can we celebrate cultural diversity in the workplace?

Jane Kennedy: I always ask people I meet from taxi drivers to doctors to teachers their cultural heritage and then the next question I ask is 'What's your favorite traditional national dish!". I enjoy the way people's eye's light up when they talk about a dish that is special to them and often foreign to me. Encouraging our workmates to be proud of their heritage is a wonderful way of getting to know a different side to them.

Question: How will you be celebrating the 2016 A Taste of Harmony campaign?

Jane Kennedy: This year we are planning on going all out Southern US BBQ in honour of one of our colleagues who's from North Carolina.

Question: Can you share a recipe, with us?

Jane Kennedy: This recipe is for BBQ Octopus. I've been to Greece many times now and visited about 20 islands and always look out for the octopus hanging outside a taverna drying in the sun. The secret is cooking it for quite a long time!

BBQ Octopus

1 large octopus tentacle (your local fishmonger should have one!)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsps sea salt
2 tsps cracked black pepper
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
lemon wedges and parsley, to serve

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili flakes in a bowl. If necessary cut the tentacle so it can fit in the bowl to marinade. Cover with plastic film and leave in fridge for about two hours.
Heat a grill or bbq and grill the octopus pieces for about 20 to 25 minutes turning every five minutes. Don't have the flame too high. The octopus should almost have a nice charred appearance.
Remove from the grill and chop the octopus into discs and place on a plate or bowl. Sprinkle with the dried oregano, fresh chopped parsely a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Interview by Brooke Hunter